“Doesn’t one?” said Antony, turning to him with a smile.
“Well, of course, one never knows, but I mean—”
“You mightn’t try to ruin him, Bill, but you wouldn’t perjure yourself in order to get him out of a trouble of his own making.”
“So that of the two alternatives the other is the more likely.”
They had come to the gate into the last field which divided them from the road, and having gone through it, they turned round and leant against it, resting for a moment, and looking down at the house which they had left.
“Jolly little place, isn’t it?” said Bill.
“Very. But rather mysterious.”
“In what way?”
“Well, where’s the front door?”
“The front door? Why, you’ve just come out of it.”
“But isn’t there a drive, or a road or anything?”
“No; that’s the beauty of it to some people. And that’s why it’s so cheap, and why the Norburys can afford it, I expect. They’re not too well off.”
“But what about luggage and tradesmen and that kind of thing?”
“Oh, there’s a cart-track, but motor-cars can’t come any nearer than the road” he turned round and pointed “up there. So the week-end millionaire people don’t take it. At least, they’d have to build a road and a garage and all the rest of it, if they did.”
“I see,” said Antony carelessly, and they turned round and continued their walk up to the road. But later on he remembered this casual conversation at the gate, and saw the importance of it.
Getting Ready for the Night
What was it which Cayley was going to hide in that pond that night? Antony thought that he knew now. It was Mark’s body.
From the beginning he had seen this answer coming and had drawn back from it. For, if Mark had been killed, it seemed such a cold-blooded killing. Was Cayley equal to it? Bill would have said “No,” but that was because he had had breakfast with Cayley, and lunch with him, and dinner with him; had ragged him and played games with him. Bill would have said “No,” because Bill wouldn’t have killed anybody in cold blood himself, and because he took it for granted that other people behaved pretty much as he did. But Antony had no such illusions. Murders were done; murder had actually been done here, for there was Robert’s dead body. Why not another murder?
Had Mark been in the office at all that afternoon? The only evidence (other than Cayley’s, which obviously did not count) was Elsie’s. Elsie was quite certain that she had heard his voice. But then Bill had said that it was a very characteristic voice —an easy voice, therefore, to imitate. If Bill could imitate it so successfully, why not Cayley?